Saturday, December 31, 2011

Review: Hourglass

Title Hourglass
By Myra McEntire
For Fun
Pages 400
Recommended by Melissa

First sentence My small Southern hometown is beautiful in the haunting way an aging debutante is beautiful.

Emerson has been seeing figments of the past since her parents tragic death. But when her brother hires a mysterious and handsome guy to help her, and he actually believes her, things start getting much stranger.

General thoughts
I'm going to have to break this one into things I liked and things I didn't cause I felt equally strong about both feelings. So, the things I like about this one......First off, I love the cover, it's one of the first things that drew me to the book. I liked the writing and was so happy it was in past tense; I'm getting so freaking sick of present tense books. The writing was good and witty. I liked Emerson's voice, and as things started picking up I found myself finally wanting to read again after a huge reading slump. I also liked the way the author handled Emerson accepting the things Michael was telling her. Paranormal abilities and how characters accept them is often ridiculously unbelievable. Not so, in this one.

And now for what I didn't like....The editing in this one felt lazy. At one point Michael opens a drink and slides it across the counter to Emerson but then, in the next sentence, she's popping open the can. Sure, sure it's something easily overlooked but it just bothers me when things like that are in books. Could they really not catch that before publishing? But my biggest problem with the book was the time travel. Time travel always confuses me and gives me a headache but, in the end, I usually feel like I understand what happened and why it all made sense. Yeah, not in this book. Sure, it's fiction you can make up what ever rules of time travel you want but I like stories to be well crafted. It makes me feel like the author cared enough about their book to make sure that things made sense, but I didn't feel that and it just makes me sad.  Plus I hate, HATE when the "bad guy" starts giving a big speech at the end to explain their motives. It's incredibly amateurish writing and makes me feel like I'm watching old Saturday morning cartoons.

So, yeah I'll probably read the rest of the series but I hope the next books are slightly better crafted.

I know, I'm going on and on, but I had to mention three characters. I mean Emerson....Need I say more?  Michael is NOT my type. I hate that kind and I hated him! Kaleb on the other hand... *long dreamy sigh* He's what's making me continue this series even though I know he'll never end up with Emerson. Stupid love triangles that AREN'T love triangles!

Would I recommend it?
Yeah, I guess, just don't expect the time travel thing to make sense.

Friday, December 30, 2011

I Just Couldn't Resist: Another Top 10 Of 2011

Yeah, well, as you all know I'm kinda a picky reader...just a little. Alright, a lot! So, I just couldn't resist listing the top ten books that I HATED this year. Yeah, you heard me, HATED. Alright, hate is a strong word, lets just say they invoked a lot of anger in me. ;)

So, in descending order of, pretty awful to, what-moron-published-this-crap, I give you my list.

10.  Wither by Lauren Destefano
Who the heck cares if you pulled some heartstrings, you have to actually make sense!

9. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
Oh, the convenience! The religious bashing! *shutters*

8.  Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
Geeze, talk about a book that makes you want to kill yourself...or maybe just the stupid un-progressive characters.

7  Forever by Pete Hamill
It just went on and on...forever. ;) Hee hee.

6. Sleepless by Cyn Balog
Ugh, when great potential goes bad.

5. Intertwined by Gena Showalter (pre blog review) 
It sounded so cool and then...well, it was bad.

4. Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier (pre-blog review)
The depression this one induced...ugh!

3. Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien
Yeah, blame it on high expectations but seriously? WTH?!

2. Divergent by Veronica Roth
But it was dystopian, I'm supposed to just mindlessly like it. I don't freaking think so.

...And the stupidest book I read this year was...

1. Ripple by Mandy Hubbard
Bad writing, bad editing, bipolar MC. Yeah, what a waste of paper!

Honestly, I didn't like these ones, but I  still hope you had a good laugh reading my reviews and taking a look back at the books that drove me insane this past year. :)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

End Of The Year Book Survey

I saw this fun survey over on It's All About Books and she got it from The Perpetual Page-Turner. I've decided I better do some kind of year wrap up...don't you? Oh well, you have to sit though it anyway. ;)

Bookish Bests

1. Best Book You Read In 2011? 

The Neon Court (Matthew Swift 3) by Kate Griffin of course! Seriously, people, how much do I have to rave about this series until you pick it up?!

2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

Oh, wow this is a toss up! Can I choose two? K, I'd have to go with Intertwined by Gina Showalter and Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken. Intertwined had the coolest sounding premise ever AND a male protagonist. I was so freaking excited to read it and all I got was bad writing and a book that dragged on and on! Brightly Woven could have been so good but I felt like the author got to obsessed with having her characters travel all over the map that came with her book and it took forever to get to the point.

3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

The Ghost and the Goth by Stacy Kade. I thought the cover was funny and I thought it would be a light fluffy  story so I bought it put it on my shelf and there it sat for quite awhile. I Finally picked it up this year and ended up LOVING it! It was light and funny, but well thought out and even had some depth to it. Don't you love that?!

4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

Holy crap, I'm always talking about The Matthew Swift series so I'd have to say those books but since no one has picked it up...that I know of...I'd also say the Curse Workers series.

5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

The Shade series by Jeri Smith-Ready. I've discovered others and liked them too but the Shade series takes the cake!

6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

New to me? Jeri Smith-Ready, Rebecca Lim, Dan Wells, Sara Zarr. And it's not just cause I liked their books. It's because they actually know how to write.

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Well, either I didn't read a genre I usually don't or there isn't a genre I won't read cause I can't think of a book I read that was out of my comfort zone. I can say I wouldn't have read A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith if my book club hadn't read it and I liked it so maybe that can count.

8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

Literally? The DUFF by Kody Keplinger. I started reading it one night and stayed up all night to read it. I could NOT put it down.

9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

The Neon Court by Kate Griffin. It's the third is a series and I was so freaking excited waiting for it.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?

Well, I think I'll have to got with Existence by Abbi Glines. I don't know why but I just love it!

11. Most memorable character in 2011? 

There's a lot of FAVORITE new characters but if I had to choose one that was memorable I'd say Holling Hoodhood from The Wednesday Wars.

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

Kate Griffin (The Matthew Swift series) writes amazingly but I also loved Rebecca Lim's (Mercy) writing too.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011? 

I re-read Getting the Girl by Markus Zusak and cried the whole way through it. I just LOVE that book. It's one of those books that you swear was written just for you.

14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read? 

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. N'uff said.

15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011? 

I'm not sure. I'm not a highlighting reader I just smile at beautiful sentences and move on. I'd have to agree with my friend Suey and say Markus Zusak probably takes the cake in the writing department.

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012? 

Oh man, a lot! the Curse Workers series. The Ghost and the Goth. Heck, I might even re-read the Matthew Swift series again this year.

17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers! 

Under the Dome by Stephen King. It could have been because I was reading it with a group and I actually got to talk about everything with people but, yeah, that one for sure.

Book Blogging/Reading Life in 2011

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2011? 

I just started blogging this year so everyone's blog was a new discovery for me! 

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2011? 

Actually it was pre-blog but I liked my review guessed it, The Neon Court.

3. Best discussion you had on your blog? 

My post, Sheltered Childhood or Misinterpreted Youth, had so many comments it actually started bugging me. ;)

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else's blog? 

Jessica from Thoughts At One In The Morning has fun discussions and B.J from Dark Side of the Covers has a great discussion post once a week.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

Markus Zusak signing for sure! It was so freaking awesome to actually meet him and see him in person and have him sign my books. He was so nice and personable that it just made it that much better.

6. Best moment of book blogging in 2011?

Uh, I'd say just getting started blogging was probably the best. But meeting all you awesome bloggers is my favorite part too.

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

Yeah, the post, Sheltered Childhood or Misinterpreted Youth, got so much attention I was going nuts. ;) 

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I LOVE writing my soccer posts and I wish they got a little more love, even if they aren't about books. :( 

9. Best bookish discovery (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

Again, just starting to blog and making friends with all you guys was a great bookish discovery. 

10. Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

Yep, just finished my Goodreads challenge of reading 100 books. I also finally read Under the Dome this year. Yay!

Looking Ahead... 

1. One Book You Didn't Get To In 2011 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2012?

The Vampire Academy series. I seriously need to read these books!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2012?

Um, yeah, The Minority Council (Matthew Swift 4) by Kate Griffin. Did you have to ask? I also can't wait for Black Heart (Curse Workers 3) by Holly Black

3. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2012?

I'd like to organize my blog a little better and just catch up on all those series I feel so behind on.

Well, that's all, folks. I hope you stuck with me. It's been a fun reading year and I'm excited for 2012 and all the books it will hold. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Review: Existence

Title Existence
By Abbi Glines
For Fun
Pages 194
Recommended by Tristan

First sentence Don't look at him and he'll go away.

Pagan sees souls, she always has, but there's something different about this new one hanging around and it's not just his good looks.

General thoughts
This was my very first ebook! K, I'm just excited I have the Kindle app on my phone. ;) Anywho, as it was only published as an ebook and by a publishing company that only publishes ebooks I somehow got it into my head it was going to be mediocre. And it was, it had plenty of grammatical errors and a lot of telling not showing, and about half way through I completely lost interest, but I persisted all the way to the end...all the way to the, holy hell, cliffhanger ending!!! Yeah, there was quite a cliffhanger ending that had me rolling my eyes more than anything else. The whole thing inspired a lot of eye rolling. It just didn't exactly make sense and the story itself could have used some editing. Still, despite all that, I adore the cover and I have a massive weakness for stories about Death as a person. It's what drew me to the book in the first place and kept me reading. I liked that despite how "simple"  it was I had no idea where it was going to go and that kept me reading as well. So, yeah, it wasn't amazing, in fact it was pretty bad, but I enjoyed it anyway.

Pagan was way too much like Bella from Twilight for my taste. She seemed weak and willing to do anything for someone she hardly knew. Dank (despite his name) was dreamy albeit a little unbelievable as a guy and Leif was ridiculously amiable. NO ONE is that nice! Miranda was pretty dang cliche.

Would I recommend it?
I can't in good conscience recommend it but if you're interested in the premise then, yes, you might enjoy it about as much as I did.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Today  The Broke and the Bookish asks the question: What were your Top Ten favorite books this past year?

Well there's been some amazing books and some awful books. ;) Luckily for you I'm listing the good ones. Some of these are pre-blog so the link will take you to Goodreads instead of a review post if you're interested, that is. ;) 

1 The Neon Court (Matthew Swift 3) by Kate Griffin
Best book of 2011!!! 

2 Red Glove (Curse Workers 2) by Holly Black
I LOVE this series.

3 The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
This was one of those books that surprised the heck out of me. So good! 

4 The Ghost and the Goth (Ghost and the Goth 1) By Stacy Kade
So silly and "light" but I thoroughly enjoyed it.

5 Sean Griswold's Head by Lindsey Leavitt
I'm STILL in love with Sean. 

6 The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
This one get on the list because it surprised me and was impossible to put down. 

7 Shade (Shade 1) Jeri Smith-Ready
Well thought out masterpiece! 

8 Shift (Shade 2) by Jeri Smith-Ready
Yep, I love this series. Can't wait till the third one! 

9 The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt   
I actually read this one twice this year. Adore it! 

10 The Sweet, Terrible, Glorious year I Truly ,Completely Lost It by Lisa Shanahan 
So funny and sweet! 

Sheesh, that was harder than I thought. So I'll mention some runner ups too. 
Under the Dome, The DUFF,  Speak, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Underdog, Bruiser. All great books too!   

So, what were some of your favorites this year? 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Review: Anna Dressed In Blood

Title Anna Dressed In Blood
By Kendare Blake
For Fun
Pages 320
Recommended by Eventually, everyone.

First sentence The grease-slicked hair is a dead give away-no pun intented.

Cassius Theseus Lowood has more that just a strange name, he hunts and kills ghosts. An occupation he inherited from his now deceased father. Traveling from town to town with his witch mother and their cat he's about to meet a ghost unlike any other before.

General thoughts
First off, this was EXACTLY the kind of book I needed to get out of my reading slump. It was fast paced and exciting and had a fun mystery to keep you turning pages. There was a slow bit in the middle that felt too meandering for the rest of the story's pace, but once I got over that, things picked up again. I was all prepared for it to be incredibly gory and full of cuss words and, yeah, I guess I'm just way too tainted cause I hardly noticed all that. So, if that's why you're not reading this one, it wasn't THAT bad.  Unfortunately this is me, and I'm easily disappointed so, yes, I have complaints. To begin with I was tired of all the "telling". Cass is a loner. Cass doesn't want friends. Cass doesn't know why he's hanging out with all these people now, why he's   making friends and caring about them. See? It kept telling us over and over that he was a loner and he wasn't at all! And then, telling aside, it was bugging me that he was supposed to be a loner and he really wasn't; I liked the idea of a lone ghost hunter guy. All, brooding and misunderstood. Sigh. What a let down. Obviously this is a trilogy, or at least has a sequel so I was bothered that the "other ghost" even had a part in this one. It seemed like too many things crammed into one book. I was also bothered by the insta-love but I always am, so no surprise there. ;)

I was so excited that we were getting a male protagonist in this one, but Cas just wasn't entirely believable as a guy to me. When a female author is writing from a guy's POV it had better be believable. I just didn't think it was in this case; throwing in a few cuss words does not a believable guy make! The rest of the characters felt a little too cookie cutter for me and that's never a good thing. However, this just proves that I'm much more about plot than characters, don't you think? Cause I did like this one for it's plot, just not it's characters. Oh, and all the telling.

Would I recommend it? 
Yeah, with a shrug and an apathetic, "sure".

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Do High Expectations Lead To Disappointment?

I could do a whole post about this and how it applies to life, but since this is mostly a book blog, and I don't want to depress you with my "life theories", I'll stick to bookish relevance....You're welcome. ;)

We've all been there, waiting for that book that sounds so amazing. Eagerly reading reviews that are raving about said book. Everyone seems to be talking about it, and, at long last, we get our hands on it and begin to read; our expectations high enough to raise the roof.

Here's where we run into trouble. If we're lucky we love the book as much as we wanted to; as much as everyone else, but sometimes, lets face it, we're left wondering, what the hell?!

The question that's bouncing around my head is this: Is it those high expectations that are ruining the book for us? Had we gone into it with less feverish expectancy would we have enjoyed it more? And if so, does that mean we should be eternal pessimistic readers?

I've gone into plenty of books with high expectations that everyone said I'd love that I did, in fact, end up loving (Harry Potter, The Hunger Games) but it usually seems that if my expectations are too high I end up being disappointed.  However, I've also had absolutely NO expectation about a book and ended up hating it as well. So, DO our expectations effect our feelings about books?

What say you? And if it is high expectations ruining books for us how on earth do we lower those expectations without being a depressing pessimistic?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Salon

Welcome to the new Sunday Salon. A weekly update post about my boring life. ;)

Weather Small Talk: Just weird! There's heavy low clouds hinting of snow but it's too cold to snow. Everything is frosted over. It's quite lovely, but I can't figure out what on earth the weather is doing.

On The Idiot Box: Not much new TV as it's almost Christmas but there's all those warm fuzzy Hallmark\Lifetime\ABCfamily movies to amuse. The funny thing is, I haven't watched even one yet. I'll have to rectify that this week. 

Weekly Reads: I've kinda put Inheritance on the back burner and I finished off The Wednesday Wars and 13 Little Blue Envelopes. I've started reading Existence and Anna Dressed in Blood. Both are entertaining so far.

Crazy Kitty: She's been very well behaved with my Christmas tree and yet, somehow, she still keeps getting sap on her fur.

This Week: I had my family Christmas party Saturday and we had fun. We made gingerbread houses. 
Here's mine. And, no, I wouldn't really lick it. 
Some people had a bit of trouble. ;) 

Movie of the Week: Nothing new and exciting. I did watch The Nativity Story. If you haven't seen this one you should. I love the story but I love the romance. ;)  Hmmm, is that sacrilegious?

Food Talk: Holy Yum. Jessica brought some shortbread to book club and I've been obsessed ever since. I even dreamed about it, people! I made some this morning with whole wheat...sooooo good!!!

Soccer Sightings: Due to my Christmas party I missed my game. :( It's probably just as well, since they wore that red that bugs me so much again. They did win, though.

Music Discoveries: Alright, in honor of Christmas I thought I should do a Christmas song. I've decided this is, by far, my favorite version of White Christmas. 

Plans For The Week: I have one more gift to buy, but other that that I plan on taking it easy. Maybe I'll finish the Zelda game I've been playing. ;) 

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Review: 13 Little Blue Envelopes

Title 13 Little Blue Envelopes
By Maureen Johnson
For Fun
Recommended by Everyone

First sentence Dear Ginger, I have never been a great follower of rules.

After her eccentric artist aunt passes away, Ginny receives a package from her. It contains 13 numbered envelopes, each with a task to complete. They lead Ginny on a wild adventure across Europe where she learns more about her aunt and more about herself.

General thoughts
I've heard so many good things about this book that I purchased it at the Borders store closing sale and there it has sat on my shelf for the past five months. I felt like an adventurous yet light read so I picked it up and read it rather quickly this week. Considering the all consuming depression slump I've been in, the fact that it only took me two days to read this book speaks volumes about its quality. It was just the sort of book I was in need of. I enjoyed traveling all across Europe with Ginny and was eagerly waiting for her to read each new letter from her aunt to see what it was all leading up to. Sigh, and, yes, maybe it's my current mood, but I did have some issues with the book. Firstly being the convenience. I hate books that have little facts thrown in just so the story is easier to tell, like Ginny's great sense of direction. I was bothered with how quickly and conveniently she fell for Keith and how their relationship just sort of sprung up out of nowhere. Plus, I just don't like guys like Keith. Sure, they're easy going and relaxed but it makes me wonder if they're truly capable of being in a relationship. Guys like him just don't seem to care about anything deeply enough to actually care about someone...for long. Anywho, the ending was a bit of a let down for me, as well, and I felt like the whole book in general had some deep meaning that I just wasn't getting. That's because I really don't think there was a meaning but what do I know? So, yeah, I really did like reading and enjoying it but in the end it was just OK. I will read the sequel, though, that's something. ;)

The Characters were very well fleshed out. Each had a distinct real personality and reason for existing. I admire that in books. Ginny, herself, was a little too passive for me. Everything just happened TO her. Maybe that was that whole deep thing I missed but it bothered me.

Would I recommend it? 
Yeah, it was good enough. But if you do read it and take some great meaning away from it, will you tell me? Cause I was just confused.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review: The Wednesday Wars

Title The Wednesday Wars
By Gary D Schmidt
For Book Club
Recommended by Me

First sentence Of all the kids in the seventh grade at Camillo Junior High, there was one kid that Mrs. Baker hated with heat whiter than the sun.

The adventures of a seventh grader, Holling Hoodhood, in the late 60's.

General thoughts
This is the second time through this book and I was excited to read it again for book club. I LOVED it the first time through. It's hilarious and sweet and such a fun read. It's hard to find anyone who doesn't like this one. This time through, and it might have been my mood, I found myself a little more skeptical at how well things worked out for Holling all the time. Don't get me wrong, I still thoroughly enjoyed this books and still laughed my way through it, I just noted that it was slightly unbelievable. Of course then I started thinking why that fact was bugging me. Would it have been any more realistic with things not working out?  Plenty of bad things happen in this book, they just end up turning out OK. My own life has been pretty much the same so why should I complain? So I shoved away any negative feelings and just enjoyed it again. Anywho, my own personal insights aside, you really should read this book. It's incredibly well written, has unforgettable characters and some amazing lessons. It's one of those books you read and then want to buy for everyone you know so they'll read it too.

As I said, these characters are unforgettable.  I still remembered them and loved them from the first time I read it. you won't find a cliched character anywhere within the pages.

Would I recommend it? 
Oh, yes, and if you don't take my advice and read it, I'll have to start buying copies and shoving them at you.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday Salon

Welcome to the new Sunday Salon. A weekly update post about my boring life. ;)

Weather Small Talk: No snow all week and it's been soooooo cold!

On The Idiot Box: K, fine! I'll admit it. I'm totally obsessed with Revenge. Anyone else seen it? Please tell me I'm not crazy! It's so soap opera-y but I'm so into it! 

Weekly Reads: I'm having such a hard time reading lately! I'm STILL working on Inheritance and I started re-reading The Wednesday Wars for book club this week. I LOVE The Wednesday Wars! Maybe it'll break this slump.

Crazy Kitty: Wow, I think my kitty has been as depressed as me this week. :(

This Week: I got a new phone...a smartphone! I'm enjoying learning how to use it. And that was the highlight of my week. :( Pretty sad, huh?

Movie of the Week: I went and saw Hugo. Loved the music! I haven't read the books so I had nothing to compare it to but I liked it. It was a little long, though.

Food Talk: I'm going to make my Christmas gingerbread cookies this week. I'm going to substitute whole wheat flour instead of white...I hope it turns out.

Soccer Sightings: Ugh, Real Madrid lost against Barcelona. Why? Why?!

Music Discoveries: I'm still obsessing over Christina Perri. You have to listen to this one just to the chorus so you can hear the piano. So pretty! 

Plans For The Week: Finish my Christmas shopping! Exercise! I get to go to book club, yay! And My family's Christmas party is this weekend. 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Something In The Air

Yeah, that's what it is, there's something in the air. I'm having the hardest time reading or blogging lately. I can blame it on Christmas but I just don't think that's it. My good friend Suey is having the same problem and she lives in the same city as me. See? Something in the air.

So, since I have nothing bookish to talk about. I thought I'd talk about soccer. Please, please calm down, I know you're excited. ;)

Today Real Madrid will be playing Barcelona. If you remember, which I doubt you do, (that's OK) there's a huge rivalry between these two teams and it's always exciting to watch these games. Wish em luck!

Also, I'm so crushing on this handsome fellow. So, now you get to enjoy.

His name is Callejon, and he just transferred to Real Madrid this season. Look at that waist line!!! Did I mention I have a thing for waist lines along with calves?

He's not a bad player either. He scored twice this last Wednesday.  Now, if I could just find a picture of him without a shirt on. ;)

So, what do you guys think of my new crush?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

TV Addict Reading Challenge

K, just look at that challenge name...does that not describe me to a T? I'm so obsessed with TV and I love reading so when I saw this challenge over at Belle's Bookshelf  I just had to sign up for it.

The idea is to read a series of books that a TV show is based on. Belle has a list on her blog you should go check it out and join know you want to. ;)

I'm actually going to just read one series and it's one that's not even on her list.

I watched this show on TV this summer and while it's a little hokey I'm interested to see how the books compare. So, yes, I've signed up for another challenge even though I said I wasn't doing any. :) Where's my willpower?!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

By Popular Demand, A Night With Christopher Paolini

Alright it wasn't THAT popular of demand but a few of you asked how the night with Christopher Paolini went. I'm a loser and never bring a camera to these things so I wasn't going to post about it but thanks to Suey, who did take pictures, I'll can share some pictures.Thanks, Suey!

After arriving 2 and 1/2 hours before the event started we got there to wait in line...yeah it was that crazy! There were probably at least 50 people ahead of us and by 6:30, when they let us in, the line was very, very long! Crazy! People were dressed up in medieval garb and when Christopher got there they played a fanfare and had a sword salute to welcome him. Holy nerdy-ness!

See, long ago, when I first picked up Eragon, the first book in the series, I saw the picture of Christopher and after noting how young he was I concluded that, yes, indeed, he looked exactly like the kind of guy that would write an epic fantasy. Now don't get mad and call me some kind of nerd racist, I'm a nerd myself, so I can say that. Besides look at him.

See? He's a bit nerdy looking. Anywho, after listening too him talk about his books, and read from his book in an overly dramatic voice, and answer questions, my previous impression of him was proven to be true; he's a nerd. ;) It was a total blast! A total nerdy blast!

The signing went well. He's the first author who I've ever seen sign THAT fast and still manage to make eye contact and small talk with each person.

My favorite part of the evening was when he was leaving the room where he had given his speech and some girl in the crowd yelled out, "will you marry me?!" Why did it amuse me? Because that exact thing happened to his character Eragon in the second book. Alright it wasn't THAT funny, but it was a little amusing.

So, there you have it, my meager attempt at a recap of the evening.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Review: Shatter Me

Title Shatter Me
By Tahereh Mafi
For Fun
Recommended by Me

First sentence I've been locked up for 264 days.

With a brush of her fingers Juliette can drain a persons life force. Locked in a cell alone for nearly a year life is routine and lonely but it's about to change, when a handsome boy is locked up with her. Suddenly her curse is being called a gift and everyone wants to use her for their own desires.

General thoughts
Alright, people. I'm sorry, this one had a great premise going for it and, yes, some nice writing, but I had some issues. Before I name them, though, I wanted to say, I didn't hate this book. I enjoyed it enough to read the rest of the books in the series. Now, with that out of the way, let me tell you why it bugged me. Everyone has been raving about this one and how freaking amazing the writing was. So what the heck was my problem? The writing was good...for about two seconds. Then I wanted to shout, "shut up and just tell the dang story! If you're going to cross out sentences why bother writing them at all?! Quit repeating words over and over! Come up with some new phrases! Argh!" Further more, the whole style conflicted with the story. You have this fast paced exiting story littered with so much slow flowery writing it just wasn't meshing! And then came the lack of conflict. But, Jenny, they're was conflict. Warner was trying to use her for his own evil wishes, and society was way messed up, and she couldn't touch anyone!!! You can yell at me all you want, but let's look at these points, shall we? We were told Warner was freaky and smart, so smart he was in charge of a sector at only 19, but he wasn't smart, or evil, or even dangerous. They easily escaped him! Juliette sorta kinda, liked him??? Maybe??? Whatever THAT was. The society was hardly even talked about. I'm not sure why things were the way they were, it was never explained very well and I'm not exactly sure how they're supposed to be fixing it. I don't really care either; I'm sure that will be explained later...hopefully. But the biggest nonconflicting thing of all: The WUUUUV of her life could touch her???? Oh how convenient! Phew! I don't think I coulda handled there being any actual conflict! So, yeah, see why it wasn't THAT amazing after all? Not the worst thing I've read but come on!!!

So, what did I think of all those characters? Juliette was pretty stupid. Sorry, but Adam had to tell her he loved her twice and she still didn't get why he was rescuing her. Looks like all that time in the dark cell knocked a few brain cells loose. And speaking of Adam, he just wasn't swoon worthy for all! It's not his fault, he's just not my type. And what was up with Warner? Did the author want us to sorta like him? Was that supposed to be a lead up to a love triangle? I felt like even the author didn't have a good hold on who Warner was.

Would I recommend it? 
Oh, I'm sure people will just eat this one up, a lot of people already have so, yeah, go ahead and read it...I guess! ;)

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sunday Salon

Welcome to the new Sunday Salon. A weekly update post about my boring life. ;)

Weather Small Talk: We finally got a little snow, just a skiff and it's all melted now.

On The Idiot Box: Not too many new shows this week. The mid season finale of Supernatural was on Friday night but I was at the Christopher Paolini signing so I didn't see it. I'll have to catch up on that one later today.

Weekly Reads: After all that stress about finishing the Inheritance books on time I didn't. :( Oh well, it was starting to ruin them for me so I took it easy. I did manage to finish Brisingr and started the fourth book.

Crazy Kitty: Maybe she's trying to get warm or my nagging about her weight has gotten to her, but she's been super frisky lately. Chasing all her balls around and going bezerk when I get the laser pointer out. She keeps pulling little pieces of my bathroom rug out and playing with them too.

Movie of the Week: I let myself be convinced into going to see Arthur Christmas.(I did NOT want to see it) I was pleasantly surprised. It was really funny and besides, the cute James Mcavoy did the voice of Arthur.

Food Talk: I'm so obsessed with provolone cheese at the moment. I can't help but feel bad for anyone that has to be around me after I've consumed it, though. It does kinda smell like barf. ;)

Soccer Sightings: So my favorite current player for Real Madrid started in the game yesterday and came oh so very close to scoring but was thwarted at the last moment. :( After he got substituted they showed him on the bench with the saddest expression. I hate when they show us that! I'm thinking they need someone to sit on the bench during games and comfort those poor boys cause, unlike the coach, I'd do it for free. ;)

Music Discoveries: This isn't a new discovery for me but I'm posting it for you, Suey. ;) So now you can shake your head in concern that this is my favorite Muse song.

Question of the Week: I'm trying to serve more but, in my opinion, serving is not easy. It's mind numbing misery that should make you want to die! Is that a messed up way of thinking? It's hard to put myself through that every day but just smiling at someone or making a phone call to a depressed friend just doesn't feel like service to me.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Review: Brisingr

Title Brisingr (Inheritance 3)
By Christopher Paolini
For Fun
Pages 749

First sentence Eragon stared at the dark tower of stone wherein hid the monsters who had murdered his uncle, Garrow.

Eragon and Saphira continue there journey. With the evil king using Murtaugh and Thorn as weapons the Varden must continue to fight. Eragon and Saphira's bond is tested as they are separated. Eragon learns more more about the original Dragon Riders and a secret that may help him defeat the evil king and free all of Alagaesia.

General thoughts
This was only the second time I've read this one. When I read it before I was slightly disappointed with the slow parts and the knowledge that it wasn't going to be the last book in the series. Maybe knowing that the next and last one is out and waiting for me helped, or maybe I've just matured more and can appreciate the relationships despite some lack of action, but I enjoyed it better this time. That's not to say the slow parts weren't still pretty freaking slow but they weren't as long as I remembered them being. Re-reading these has been, at times frustrating, but all in all enjoyable and I'm so excited to get to the fourth one...AT LAST! The thing I truly love about this whole series is the growth of the characters. It's something you can actually see throughout all the books. Every book should have that, yet, sadly, most don't. I appreciated it in these books. More so this time around. Maybe it's because I want to see some personal growth in my own life. Hmmm. ;)

I'm love how close Eragon and Saphira are but I love how much closer they get in this one and how it makes you really an event that takes place at the end. ;) Sorry, don't want to spoil anything. I'm interested in the developments in Eragon and Arya's relationship even though I'd rather he didn't end up with her. Yeah, that's right, you heard me. I don't want Eragon to end up with Arya! I love the characters in this series and I'm so excited to see how everything turns our for all of them.

Would I recommend it?
Yes, of course. Just remember this one is a little slow, but worth sticking with.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

November Wrapup 2011

What a pathetic reading month! It feels like I hardly read anything. What with my failing endeavor to re-read the Inheritance series before this Friday and the holidays it just hasn't gone well. Oh well. Here's what I DID read.

Eragon (Inheritance 1) by Christopher Paolini
Fun, adventurous book I enjoy every time I read it.

Eldest (Inheritance 2) by Christopher Paolini
I finally noticed the similarities with other famous fantasy books but I loved it again anyway!

Fang (Maximum Ride 6) by James Patterson
Once I got back into the hang of things I had a blast. I'm interested about that new character. ;)

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
Thank goodness for book club or I never would have read this one. Very delightful.

Favorites of the month well that's hard I liked them all for different reasons. So no least favorites this month. That's something, right? ;)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hangs On A Cliffhanger

As we all know there are a LOT of series coming out lately, especially trilogies in YA books. Am I right? Anywho, with all those trilogies we're often faced with the dreaded cliffhanger ending.

Whether the cliffhanger endings are to "trick" us into reading the next book or books in the series, or because that's just the way it had to end it's, always frustrating. However I've noticed around the blogosphere lately, with bloggers who rate what they read, that they'll take a star (or whatever they rate with) away just because the books had a cliffhanger ending. As if that diminished how amazing the book was?! Huh? Is it because they feel like the author just did it to ensure they'd continue with the series or, in their frustrations, are they're just punishing the poor book who otherwise was amazing but just happened to leave them hanging? Either way I'm not sure I understand the reasoning.

I get that cliffhangers are annoying, I really do. There's nothing worse than realizing that all can not be resolved in the amount of pages left but at least you know there's something more to come. (even if it is a year or more away) Right?

All I'm saying is: Should your overall opinion of the book really hang on that cliffhanger? Should that one tiny flaw actually lessen the books reputation in your mind?

So, what say you? Should I get off the old soap box? Do you let a cliffhanger ending ruin the whole book for you? Or does it just whet your appetite for more?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sunday Salon

Welcome to the new Sunday Salon. A weekly update post about my boring life. ;)

Weather Small Talk: It's cold, cold, cold but no snow...yet.

On The Idiot Box: With it being Thanksgiving week here in the US not many new shows were on. So I've been watching old re-runs of Myth Busters. Love those guys! 

Weekly Reads: Ugh! I have to keep reminding myself I WANTED to re-read the Inheritance series. I'm enjoying it but I'm getting soooo overwhelmed trying to finish it on time. Did I mention the author is coming to my local library on Friday? Cause he is, and I really want to be done with them all by then. I finished Eldest and am re-reading Brisinger but I'm going to have to read 200+ pages a day to finish it and Inheritance by Friday. So Shatter Me is on the back burner and it might be a little quiet around here this week. 

Crazy Kitty: It's my fault! She kept bugging me all night on Friday and it wasn't till I got up the next morning that I realized why. She was all out of food. :( 

Movie of the Week: I saw J. Edgar with my mother on Friday...ugh! It was supposed to be about the history of the man and how he started the FBI. At least that's what I thought. It ended up going on and on about how supposedly he was gay. Whatever!  I will say I was so freaking impressed with the make up, though. Check it out! That's Leonardo Decaprio, people! 

Food Talk: You know when you get to gorge on the holidays? Ignore the diet for one day? Yeah, well I waiting all week for Thursday (Thanksgiving) and then gorged...for like two seconds. I was so full I felt sick the rest of the day! Sigh! 

Soccer Sightings: After working out on Tuesday I didn't have time to shower before my soccer game so I flipped on the TV and started watching, figuring I'd shower at half time. 8 minutes in my boys had already scored three times. :) I went and showered. By the time I got out they'd scored again! Way to go, guys! (in case you don't know...that's nearly unheard of!) 

Music Discoveries: Wow! I heard this one on the radio the other day...How have I not heard of Christina Perri? Now I'm loving a bunch of her songs! 

Question of the Week: Is it crazy that I went to the Walmart's Black Friday sale at 10:00 PM, had to park in a completely different parking lot, hike all the way to the store, swim through masses of people only to find that the item I wanted was sold out and to just buy cat food? I'm kinda thinking yeah. ;)  I kinda felt like screaming at the top of my lungs, while holding up the bag of cat food, "I got it. I got it! Mwha ha ha!" 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Review: Eldest

Title Eldest (Inheritance 2)
By Christopher Paolini
For Fun
Pages 688
Recommended by Me

First Sentence The songs of the dead are the lamentations of the living.

The story of Eragon, the boy who found a dragon egg and becomes the first dragon rider for over a century, continues. Eragon and his dragon Saphira travel to Du Weldenvarden, the forest that houses the elves to receive training. Meanwhile, Roran, Eragon's cousin, must protect his village from the evil Raz' zac.

General thoughts
I think this is the third time I've read this book but it was the first time I really noticed all the similarities between it and LOTR and Star Wars. I guess I'm not very smart because lot's of people were outraged at this and hate the series because of it. Now that I have noticed it I'm still not bothered. I can see the influence of these books and movies on this series but I see the influence of Twilight and The Hunger Games in more books than I care to mention. I think when you grow up surrounded by a certain book or movie that's popular at the time you're going to be influenced. K, now that I've weighed in on that I'll get onto the review. I still stand by my previous opinions. I like this book. I like this series. It has great characters you care about. Adventure and excitement. Heartbreak and romance and even a touch of humor. It's just a great epic fantasy!

I love how we get to see the progression of Roran and how he becomes the man he does. I ADORE the relationship between Eragon and Saphira, it's what keeps bringing me back to this series over and over.

Would I recommend it? 
Yes, and don't be all close minded about it because it has some similarities to other books! Sheesh!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Does This Color Bring Out Their Eyes?

Well, they've gone and done it. Here I was all comfortable with Real Madrid's usual white home kit and dark blue away kit when out of nowhere they spring red on me...RED?! So, here I am trying to decide which one I like best.


Dark Blue


I guess it doesn't really long as they keep kickin' butt...and lookin' like this underneath. Right? 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday

Today  The Broke and the Bookish asks the question: What Authors I'd Love To Have At My Thanksgiving Feast?

Um, k, forget 10 would just be me and...

Yes, this handsome fellow, Markus Zusak.  We'd have tons and tons of yummy foods and desserts and he'd have hours and hours just to sit and talk to me about, oh, everything!  Yeah, he's handsome and so amazingly talented that I might be very nervous, but I think he'd make me feel at ease in no time, and then would come all the talking. And, oh, the conversations we'd have!

Alright, alright! But a girl can dream can't she?  I do have other authors I'd love to sit down with too.

Gary D Schmidt
Neal Shusterman
Kate Griffin
Dean Koontz
J K Rolling
Isobelle Carmody
Christopher Paolini
Brodi Ashton
Diane Setterfield

The funny thing is I haven't met any of these people but  Markus and Brodi, so I can't, for certain, tell you who I'd actually want to sit down with. Sure, their books are good but what if they, themselves, are horribly boring, or ill mannered, or just plain annoying?! So, yeah, I think I'll just imagine my meal with Markus, if you don't mind? ;)